The police officers who were present at the National Assembly last Wednesday when the Senate Inquiry was disrupted by supporters of the United Democratic Party including the Mace bearer were criticized for not detaining or removing the noise makers when the incident occurred. To the regular citizen it may seem clear cut for the officers. We sought to find out if it is that clear cut when we spoke with Assistant Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams.
“Inside the National Assembly the police yes they are police officers but they do not act unless they are directed to do so by, in the case of a house sitting the Speaker of the House and the Speaker of the House does have the Seargent of Arms who is the police officer in the house and when he can’t handle the situation then it refers to the police. In a setting like the Senate Inquiry the person with the authority would be the chairman, the police officer cannot act without the instructions or directive from the chairman to act in a certain way so yes there are police officers but by virtue of the rules of the house the police cannot act without first being directed to do so by the person who is in charge of the house.”
The Senate hearings have been ongoing since November 9, 2016.